Editor’s note: Dr. Hudis hosts the ASCO in Action Podcast, which focuses on policy and practice issues affecting providers and patients. An excerpt of a recent episode is shared below; it has been edited for length and clarity. Listen to the full podcast online or through iTunes or Google Play.
I want to let everybody know about a new ASCO initiative and encourage you to become involved in it. This is our "I Live to Conquer Cancer" communications campaign, a national outreach and awareness initiative designed to underscore the vital importance of federal funding in helping us advance the cancer research agenda. The initiative supports the direct advocacy that we at ASCO do in Congress to urge lawmakers to support robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
This campaign features ASCO members sharing the advances that they have personally witnessed as a result of federally funded cancer research. It also features patients who have been impacted by these advances. The campaign personalizes these advances; it makes them real and human.
The campaign calls for ASCO members to share their personal stories via social media, video, and blog posts. Our goal is to put a human face on the results of cancer research and the researchers who make this progress. We want to spotlight those researchers who have devoted their lives to clinical cancer research, as well as the patients who inspire them to continue making progress against cancer.
Now, one of the ways that we're doing this is through a series of videos that feature individual cancer researchers. And you can watch these videos, and you can share them. The first set was posted online and you can see it at ASCO.org/live-to-conquer-cancer. If you enjoy these, and I'm sure you will, I encourage you then to share them on your own social media feeds.
These stories that we've posted represent just a fraction of our members' experiences, and we want to give as many members as possible the opportunity to tell policymakers and the general public why you live to conquer cancer. Your stories are the most compelling ones that we can share. They're the ones that make the biggest difference when we're on Capitol Hill.
Here are a couple of ways that you can participate, and I hope you'll take us up on these opportunities.
- First, you can answer the question, "Why do I live to conquer cancer?" You can do this on Twitter using the hashtag #livetoconquercancer.
- You can also film a short video, and you can send it directly to ASCO. We will post many of the videos we receive on ASCO.org.
- You can write a short blog post about why you live to conquer cancer and send that to us. We will post many of those stories here on ASCO Connection and, of course, promote them through social media.
You can help spread the message of the campaign by using our social media toolkit. This allows you to share videos, statistics, and important advances that were made possible through federally funded research.
I also encourage you to contact your representatives and urge them to increase funding for the NIH and the NCI. Congress is currently considering next year's budget, and ASCO makes it easy for you to reach them directly through the ACT Network. I'll remind you that when we surveyed the general public last year, we saw that an astonishingly large fraction of the American public supports federal funding for research, even to the point of increasing the national debt or raising taxes. That's how strong the support is. We need to remind Congress that the public expects the federal government to invest in cancer research.
Visit our website to find everything you will need to join the "I Live to Conquer Cancer" campaign, including a link to ASCO's ACT Network. On Capitol Hill, our collective voices will send the strongest possible message that now is the time to invest more, not less, in cancer research.